Posted on October 31, 2023, in: Uncategorized

Sunday January 7th, 2024, at 2pm – Wharf Theatre.

The Thrill of Love

By Amanda Whittington

Director: Debby Wilkinson

Performance dates Monday May 13th – Saturday 18th 2024

About the Play:

Ruth Ellis was the last woman to be hanged in Britain after being convicted of shooting her lover,

David Blakely, in cold blood. The Thrill of Love dramatises this infamous true story and takes a

closer look at the woman behind the headlines.

A divorcee with a young child to care for, Ruth Ellis works in the kind of nightclubs where there’s

more than just a drink on offer. The girls work hard, play hard and dream of a movie-star life.

Then she meets the wealthy, womanising David, a racing car driver with whom she becomes

obsessed. She also begins seeing Desmond Cussen, a man driven mad with jealousy by her

tempestuous and often violent relationship with David.

Whittington’s play focuses on Ruth’s interior life, as well as her friendship with three women all

working the club scene: the dependable club owner, Sylvia, aspiring actress and model, Vickie and

charwoman, Doris. These friends provide comfort to her as she battles abusive lovers and a rabid press.

Meanwhile, Detective Jack Gale follows her story from the beginning, hoping to piece together the motive

behind why she murdered David and, more importantly, who she might be protecting…

Characters and playing ages:

RUTH ELLIS: Nightclub hostess – brittle, vivacious, vulnerable, and deeply damaged [late 20s]

JACK GALE: Detective inspector – meticulous, dogged, measured and empathetic [40s-50s]

SYLVIA SHAW: Nightclub manageress – world weary, independent and battle scarred with a soft centre [40-50s]

VICKIE MARTIN: Model and actress – sensuous, amoral, witty, and joyful [mid 20s]

DORIS JUDD: Charwoman – selfless, kind, honourable and dependable [20s]

This is a fabulous piece of ‘non-naturalistic’ theatre and I’m looking for 5 performers who will work collaboratively with me in rehearsal to uncover the depths of character and performance possibilities.

Scripts are available to read – please email me to arrange collection:

Any queries, or if you cannot make the audition date, please contact me: Debby Wilkinson 07505 142285 or email

You must be a Friend of the Theatre to take part in any production, details can be found on The Wharf Theatre’s website

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